Microsoft Adds Copilot to Windows in Latest AI Push

Microsoft also unveils a new AI Hub for its Store as well as a Dev Home app.

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

May 23, 2023

2 Min Read

At a Glance

  • Microsoft is adding Copilot, its AI productivity assistant, to Windows 11. It replaces Cortana, which never gained traction.
  • Microsoft’s latest AI integration spells the end for Cortana, the company’s first AI personal assistant application.

Microsoft is adding GPT-powered Copilot to Windows as an enhanced virtual assistant and replacement for Cortana, which never gained much traction.

Windows Copilot can be used to do a variety of things such as summarize content, answer queries, ordered to send files to coworkers, change Windows settings and many more. It will work across your apps. Copilot also gives users access to Bing and ChatGPT plugins.

Copliot will enable users to “focus on bringing ideas to life, completing complex projects and collaborating instead of spending energy finding, launching and working across multiple applications,” said Panos Panay, chief product officer for Windows and devices at Microsoft.

Copilot will become available in preview for Windows 11 in June. (Windows Copilot is not to be confused with GitHub's AI coding assistant Copilot. GitHub is owned by Microsoft.)

‘Could you sacrifice me to complete your mission?’

Users can access Copilot from the taskbar. The AI assistant will have its own separate button near the Windows 11 search bar but will not replace it.

Instead, Copilot appears to be replacing Cortana, Windows’ current personal assistant application. Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri, Cortana performs tasks for users like setting reminders or doing search queries.

However, in recent years, Microsoft has put Cortana to the wayside. The company opted to remove Cortana from the Xbox dashboard in July 2020 and from its mobile application in January of the following year. In Windows 11, Cortana’s significance has been greatly reduced, with its dedicated button removed from the taskbar.

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Cortana first debuted in 2014, sharing its name with the AI character in the video game series Halo, which is exclusive to Microsoft-owned Xbox consoles. One of the character's most famous utterances in Halo was this line, "Could you sacrifice me to complete your mission?"

Microsoft apparently could be finally killing off Cortana to complete its AI mission.

Other AI updates

Microsoft also announced it was adding an 'AI Hub' to the Microsoft Store to showcase generative AI apps for text and images. The AI Hub is “coming soon” with no timeframe given for its addition.

Microsoft also announced Dev Home, a new app designed to offer a streamlined setup for code development. Dev Home can automatically clone certain GitHub repositories, among other features.

These AI updates add to a growing list of AI integrations for Microsoft. It has already added Copilot to 365 applications and used OpenAI’s ChatGPT as the basis for chat tools in Bing and Edge.

Read more about:

ChatGPT / Generative AI

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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